They say that ‘crime doesn’t pay’ as a deterrent in the hope that the average member of the public will not stray down this unfortunate path. Some of us steer clear of criminal activity because we are afraid of the punishment, while others believe they simply don’t have the capacity.
In contrast, there are some experts in the field of crime, and they enjoy a lucrative career while always looking over their shoulder. Then there are the people on this list; idiots who should never have become involved in crime but were too stupid to realize it. They believed it was possible to earn ‘easy money’ but didn’t count on their own incompetence bringing them down. Read on and enjoy.
1 – Looking For Fugitives? Beer is the Secret Ingredient!
If you are a fan of The Simpsons, you may remember an old episode called ‘Lisa the Skeptic’ where Homer and a number of other criminals in Springfield are caught in a police sting. On that occasion, the cops used the lure of free motorboats. Okay, but that is a cartoon featuring a known moron, it couldn’t work in real life, could it?
Police in Derbyshire, UK, put the theory to the test in 2011. Instead of using something lavish to trick wanted criminals, they tried something a little simpler; a free crate of beer. The police were fed up chasing fugitives in the county, and they lacked the resources and manpower to launch a wide scale manhunt. Instead, they sent letters to dozens of suspects which invited them to ring a marketing company that was offering a free crate of beer.
When a criminal rang the number, they were unknowingly put through to the Chesterfield police station. The officers pretended to be sales representatives of the fictional company and arranged a time and place for the suspects to pick up their free alcohol. Incredibly, a total of 19 wanted fugitives fell for the trick, and when they arrived at the different locations to collect their beer, all they found was a police welcome party.
It is remarkable that so many people fell for such a simple trick and even more incredible that these fools evaded capture for so long! The idea was part of a month-long campaign aiming to tackle serious crime across the county of Derbyshire. Chief Inspector Graham McLaughlin spoke to the local and national press about the initiative and must have had a hard time keeping the giggles at bay! He said it was a cost-effective strategy and the police were looking for other innovative ways to catch criminals. Maybe free fish and chips the next time?